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Mboom Flings a Mat through the Void


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(Kuba/DRCongo)

Mboom (Mboomaash, Mboomyeec) is a creator god.

A primeval marsh produced Mboom. The creator created through the power of his word. He began by taking a mat and hurling it through the void: it unrolled and floated, producing the earth.

Mboom and Ngaan were creators. They each ruled one half of the world. But because of a quarrel over a woman, they moved away from the world that they had created, Mboom going to heaven and Ngaan under the water. To avenge himself on Mboom, Ngaan invented evil and pestilential animals.

An androgynous gourd broke open and produced mankind. The first man and woman were let down from the skies by a rope.

Mboom had nine children, all called Woot; they created the world—the ocean, mountains, rivers, forests, stones, fish. One Woot gave an edge to pointed things and one Woot sculpted people out of wooden balls. Death came to the world when a quarrel between two of the Woots led to the death of one of them by the use of a sharpened point.

Mboom appeared in a dream to a man, Kerikeri, and taught him to make fire by friction. When all fires were accidentally extinguished, Kerikeri sold flames at a very high price. He fell in love with a princess, Katenge. She went to him, cold, and asked him to make a fire. Rubbing sticks, he did so. Then she told everyone his secret. See also: Woot.

Subjects: Religion.


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